A Lengthy Cable Discussion

, , , , | Working | May 10, 2018

(We had never had cable, so one year I decide to look into it as a surprise for my kids. I call one of the national providers after seeing one of their commercials offering some sort of special deal. After going through the normal sales pitch…)

Me: “Okay, that all sounds good, but I need to know if you can even get a cable down to—”

Agent: “Oh, we can get a cable anywhere!”

Me: “Okay, well, my home is on the backend of my property. Our driveway is about 400 yards, so I was wondering if that would be a—”

Agent: “No problem. We can run the cable from behind your home from one of your neighbors.”

Me: “I don’t have any neighbors behind, or really beside my home. I am surrounded by a 40-acre tract of wilderness. The only neighbors I have are at the beginning of my driveway. They all are customers of yours.”

Agent: “Oh, well, that is a long way to run cable, and there will be a charge for that.”

Me: “I understand that is a longer stretch than what your company usually deals with, but I would like to know how much that will cost.”

Agent: “I don’t know. We need to get a tech out there to measure and scope out the lay of the land, where it ties in, etc., and then we will know how much it will be.”

Me: “Okay, so, when can we get a tech out here?”

Agent: “First, we need to get this contract going and sign you up. Now, what package were you interested in?”

Me: “Wait. Contract? No, I need to know how much it will cost, first.”

Agent: “Oh, we can’t send a tech out there until we have a signed contract, first. It shouldn’t cost too much. So I need your social—”

Me: “No.”

Agent: “No?”

Me: “No, I am not signing an open-ended contract. I need to know how much it will cost, first. Are we talking a $100, $500…”

Agent: “Oh.” *with a laugh* “I doubt it will cost $500.”

Me: “But you don’t know? I need a bit more than, ‘I doubt it will cost…’ I want the cost in writing.”

Agent: “Well, it usually runs around $200. In order to find out, we need to sign you up for service, first, and figure out which package works best for your family.”

Me: “But you aren’t sure? No, I don’t sign open-ended contracts. That is like sending you a blank check. I need to know the price up front.”

Agent: “I have never seen it go too high. You need not worry. Now, about this contract—”

Me: “And what if the price is too high? Can I cancel the contract?”

Agent: “There is the standard cancellation fee of $350 for breaking the contract, but—”

Me: “No, thank you. I am not signing anything. If you can’t give me at least an estimate on paper before signing, I don’t want to do business with you.”

(It worked out better this way, anyway. We prefer reading books and going out and exploring. Cable would have been a waste of time and money for us. Yet they still keep calling and sending me junk mail, trying to get me to sign up for their service.)

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